Following the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, his family has issued a statement asking for privacy while criticizing the media for the false reports that emerged soon after the news first broke.
"We are disappointed in some media’s broad use of unnamed sources and blind quotes, and remind everyone that the Bryant family will speak on our own behalf when appropriate," Kobe Inc. president Molly Carter said in a statement the Los Angeles Times. "To this point, no one has been authorized to speak on behalf of the family regarding any personal details surrounding Sunday’s tragedy, including stories related to the family’s previous air travel decisions. We ask members of the media for respect and responsible judgment during this difficult time. These inaccurate reports only add unnecessary pain to a grieving family."
Shortly after reports surfaced that Kobe and Gianna had died, ABC News chief national correspondent Matt Gutman claimed all four of the Bryant children had died in the crash. ABC News promptly suspended Gutman for his erroneous reports. "Reporting the facts accurately is a cornerstone of our journalism," an ABC News spokesperson told CNN. "As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman's initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards."
Thursday's statement from the Bryant family comes after Vanessa Bryant's heartbreaking post on Instagram on Wednesday. "There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now," Bryant wrote alongside a photo of their family. "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."
Kobe and Gianna were 41 and 13, respectively. They are survived by Vanessa, 37, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.